Lessons we can learn to help schools support our children (Ben Jensen, The Australian ($), 6 June 2020.)
School and system leaders have been put under pressure to open schools as soon as possible and have been inundated with all sorts of advice on how to handle the pandemic.
Education in a post-COVID world (Ben Jensen, ABC Melbourne, 8 May 2020.)
Just what have we learned from distance education? What have been the benefits of online learning? Joining Virginia Trioli is Dr Ben Jensen, CEO of Learning First, and Gail McHardy, executive officer of Parents Victoria, discussing what schools might look like in a post-COVID world.
Teachers need better resources to plan great lessons (Katie Roberts-Hull, Sydney Morning Herald ($), 23 February 2020.)
We expect our kids to learn across many subjects each day, but often we don’t realise how much work goes into the daily lessons. Teachers generally have a much tougher workload than they should in preparing these lessons. They’re often expected to design daily lessons from scratch, with few resources and almost no time. It does not have to be this way
It’s back to school for the instruction guide (Ben Jensen, The Australian ($), 6 December 2019.)
The truth is, we don’t know why Australia’s results have declined because we do not actually know what is going on in classrooms. Every high-performing system in the world concentrates more than we do on the specifics of how science, maths, and reading are taught
Dumping ATAR would create a new set of problems for school leavers (Katie Roberts-Hull, The Age ($), 10 November 2019.)
There are good intentions behind proposals to get rid of ATAR, but they are ignoring the evidence: other countries have tried this, and it usually makes the problems worse – increasing anxiety for families, putting more pressure on schools and reducing equity of access to university.
A quality curriculum is essential to Australian schools (Ben Jensen and Jacqueline Magee, Sydney Morning Herald ($), 15 April 2019.)
For years, education reform has focused on how we teach; artificially separating it from what we teach in classrooms. This is all beginning to change. Quality curriculum matters to student achievement and there is emerging evidence that it has a larger cumulative impact on student achievement than many other more common interventions – at a lower cost.
Parents and policy makers want the best for children – but that may differ (Ben Jensen, Australian Financial Review ($), 14 August 2016. )
We all want better school education. Parents and families want the best for their children and the policymakers who run our school systems want this as well. This alignment is great, but if you scratch a little bit deeper you will see the way a policy maker approaches reform to school systems often exacerbates the concerns of parents.
Here’s what our school principals need to help them lead, and it’s not an MBA (Ben Jensen and Phoebe Downing, Australian Financial Review ($), October 2017. )
Australian school systems need leadership programs that are embedded in their environments and tailored to their needs.
What schools really need is teacher expertise, not extra dollops of Gonski ( Ben Jensen & Katie Roberts-Hull, Australian Financial Review ($), 9 May 2017.)
The budget has opened another battle in Australia’s 50-year war over school funding, with the federal government proposing a revised Gonski formula to fund schools according to need, and the Labor opposition promising to defend the Catholic sector against cuts. Money matters in school education, but the endless argument obscures two far more important questions: what are we teaching our young people, and are we teaching it effectively?
Student outcomes, not cash, must drive schools reform (Ben Jensen & Jacqueline Magee, Australian Financial Review ($), 16 December 2016. )
Attaching strings to federal funding simply forces schools and systems to invest in proving they are ticking the boxes – the debate needs to shift from inputs to how each school system is improving student learning.
Kids need more exposure to deep conceptual learning (Ben Jensen, Katie Roberts-Hull and Samara Cooper, Australian Financial Review ($), 9 December 2016. )
Our children’s wellbeing relies on developing deep conceptual knowledge in key areas rather than shallow knowledge in many areas.
Teacher, teach thyself and ignore the usual advice (Ben Jensen and Jacqueline Magee, the Australian ($), 29 January 2016. )
The commentary and endless advice to teachers at this time of year belies the complexity of effective teaching.
Ben Jensen’s Blog
Increasing the impact of evidence-based policy
Over past decades, the term, ‘evidence-based policy’ has come to dominate policy discussions. In...
Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result: why we need a new approach to education strategy
When the last PISA results were released in December, I wrote a blog post on how systems should...